Boljoon Guide

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This mobile guide is part of the Digital Tourism program of Smart Communications Inc., InnoPub Media and the Boljoon Municipal Government.

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BIGGEST IN CEBU. The El Gran Baluarte is the biggest watchtower built in Cebu and played a crucial role in the defense system of fortresses put up by Fr. Bermejo to deter Moro raids. (Photo provided by the Boljoon Municipal Government).

El Gran Baluarte

One of the fortifications constructed by Fr. Julian Bermejo within the complex is a two-level blockhouse facing the sea that now serves as a bell tower. This was used as a watchtower and bulwark in Fr. Bermejo's days, said Paul Gerschwiler in his book "Bolhoon: A Cultural Sketch."

The town calls this structure El Gran Baluarte since it is the biggest watchtower built in Cebu and played a crucial role in the defense system of fortresses put up by Fr. Bermejo to deter Moro raids.

Gerschwiler said it was completed in 1808 and, back then, the ground level served as storeroom for weapons and ammunition and held a prison cell while the upper floor was a defense station armed with cannons.

This bulwark turned belfry is one of the tourist attractions in Boljoon today. Within the prison cell with its high windows, one can still make out the drawings of galleons and other markings made by the prisoners on the walls.


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